The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday June 1st

Really though, who are you?

Hi, my name is Hinson Neville, and I’m a freshman prospective business major from Roanoke Rapids, N.C. living in Granville Towers — and if I have to give this spiel one more time, I just might vomit.

I’m hesitant to believe that first day introductions in a class of 300 students served any purpose at all, other than to make the students in the class marginally better at reciting their own names and hometowns.

Then there are the late-night handshakes and exchanges of slurred identities at the “dry” rush festivities that no one will remember come morning.

Let’s not leave out our classmates who sit next to us in our early morning classes. Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9 a.m., my classmate ritually asks me my name and insists that I go through my aforementioned introduction to prove to him that we had indeed met before.

The truth is, at that hour, no one cares who you are or where you’re from unless your name happens to be Mocha Frap and your hometown is Starbucks.

Of course, I understand the importance of introductions and first impressions, especially in a sea of 17,891 faces which, after so many introductions, all begin to look the same. I’m equally aware that all friendships have to start somewhere and that we can’t all just be “besties” immediately.

But what I want to know is when do these heinous introductions slow down? When does the logistic growth curve of people met finally level off? I hope it’s soon. I’m ready to settle down and actually connect with people here.

All of the first impressions — aside from the charming young lady who drunkenly informed me that she “could never befriend one of those snobs in Granville” — allude to new friendships and exciting experiences.

One of the most attractive features about UNC is the diversity of the student body. Many of these introductions involve people of different races, religions and backgrounds.

Whether you’re the hipster down the hall or the friendly Indian woman in my Economics class, I’m no longer merely trying to remember your name.

If I were, I’d have to learn more than 900 names per week, and to get the whole student body, it would take until December.

I’m eager to find out more about the journey that brought you here and the sequence of events that made our lives intersect.

My patience with small talk has worn out. My need to feel an authentic connection to my new friends on this campus has taken over.

I no longer feel the need to meet as many people as possible in one day and regurgitate their names when I pass them in the Pit.

It’s time to start forming these intimate friendships and really finding out what it is about UNC that keeps students wanting to spend a fifth year in pursuit of their undergraduate degree.

It’s time to say, “Hey, let’s talk.”

Hinson Neville is the Freshmen Columnist for The Daily Tar Heel. He is a freshman business major from Roanoke Rapids. Email him at

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